One of the biggest reasons many start affiliate marketing and look to make money online is that they don’t have the funds to purchase their wants and needs. Many don’t see the value of having a website and want to get started 100% for free.
I believe one of the must-haves for building a business is a base of operations. A place where your business and brand resets. With that said, no, you don’t need a website to start affiliate marketing. However, without a website, you will be limited as to the number of affiliate programs you and partner with.
While this answer is simple, I want to spend additional time discussing why you need a website, how you can start affiliate marketing without a website, options for a free website, and more.
Continue reading to learn more about your options with affiliate marketing.
Watch the below video to learn how you can start affiliate marketing with no money today.
How To Start Affiliate Marketing Without A Website
There are a few ways to get around that issue, but their terms of services change frequently, and these options may no longer be viable.
Without a website, you are limiting your content creation to social media and YouTube. If I were to rank the best sites to start affiliate marketing without a website, I would rank them in this order:
The drawback to relying on social media is that a few of these sites don’t like affiliate links. To take it a step further, some sites don’t like it when you attempt to have their customers leave their platform.
Companies like YouTube and Facebook make billions of dollars keeping customers online and watching ads. If you’re sending them to a website they can no longer monetize, they may suppress your content.
Of the six sites listed, only one (Pinterest) doesn’t suppress your content when linking out to other platforms. Pinterest, however, doesn’t allow dome affiliate links if they’ve been flagged as spam by users.
Another problem with using social media is the constant refreshing of content. Some much content is being uploaded to social media every second that your message can easily be lost in the sea of other content.
You also have to worry about being kicked off the platform for a variety of reasons. If someone marks your content as inappropriate by another user, it’s basically a death sentence. Your content can be shadowbanned, suspended, or outright deleted.
Finally, these sites may block affiliate links outright. For example, Quora, a question and answer site) doesn’t allow affiliate links at all. If you submit an answer that includes an affiliate link, you can receive an error message, or your post will be deleted, and your account will be flagged.
Again, you can start with social media, but I recommend that your first purchase is a website and web hosting.
Another option for starting affiliate marketing is to use a free site like Wix. I discuss that option in just a moment.
Another option is to start affiliate marketing with a free site like Wix or WordPress.com. While this has the benefits of starting a base of operations, there are a few drawbacks.
Sites like Wix allow you to create almost any type of content for free. This is great if you’re starting a long or refer people from social media to your base.
Here are a few drawbacks to using Wix
- Terms of service can change
- Difficult to move content
- Content is not yours
- Sites have prefixes
- Can lock your site at any point
- May impact SEO
- Don’t control what appears on the page
Let’s spend a few words talking about each of these bullet points.
Terms of Service Can Change
Like social media sites, free websites can change their terms of service at any point. They may decide that affiliate links are no longer allowed or your niche doesn’t add value. Again, like social media, you have to play by someone else’s rules., which is not a great business practice.
Difficult To Move Content
Another challenge with using a free site is when it comes time to move content. Most sites will make it difficult to move the content you created to your site. Also, consider what happens to traffic that has been generated. If you’ve created traffic to your site, you will lose a portion of that traffic, and you won’t be able to redirect to your new website.
Speaking of content, you can’t just copy and paste the old content to your new website. The search engines have already scrapped this content. If Google sees the same content on the same site, they will assume that the new site is attempting to scam.
If this happens, it will bring down the domain authority of your entire site. Your entire site will be flagged, which will make it even more difficult to find success with Google. Your best bet in this situation is to rewrite the content.
Content May Not Be Yours
If you look closely at the terms and services of these free sites, they state they own all the content posted to the site. This means that technically, you can’t take the content to a new site. In addition, an argument could be made that they should receive the affiliate commissions because they own the content.
While I don’t believe it will stand up in court (mostly because I’m not a lawyer), would you want to go through the time, money, and energy to go through this.
Some Free Sites Have Prefixes Or Extensions
Have you ever gone to a site that said name.wix.com? Usually, that is a free site that someone is using because they don’t want to purchase their own site. Seeing sites like this make me question if the content is credible and it is an actual person, or a person trying to scam me,
Your brand is all you have, and your brand will be devalued if you’re using a free site with prefixes.
The Site Can Be Locked At Any Point
These companies have the ability to lock your site at any point. If, for example, you start generating 10,000 daily users, that site is no longer profitable for Wix. They have to spend more resources on keeping traffic to that site.
Instead, they may shut down access to your site and demand that you have moved to a higher, more expensive tier. You may end up paying more than necessary to have a free site.
Search Engine Optimization Impact
SEO stands for “Search Engine Optimization,” and it is the process of creating content to appear in organic search results. While I don’t have any proof, I suspect that creating content on a free site may negatively impact Google’s ranking. One reason is spammers and scammers use these sites to build websites and start scams quickly.
You Don’t Control What Happens On The Page
One of the biggest reasons not to use the free site is because you don’t have complete control of the website. Free website companies want to make money from the free sites also, and because of that, you may see banners or logos saying “powered by (company name).” This looks super unprofessional and is the best way to lose credibility.
These sites may also have other rules when it comes to approved colors and font.
So, What Should I Do?
I recommend that you get your own website as soon as possible. You can purchase web hosting for a low as $2.50 per month. Having your own website allows you to tell your story your way. Unless you are violating the law, you can post any content you want.
In addition, it opens you up to more affiliate programs. As I mentioned, some programs, like Amazon, require you to have a website before you can join their program.
If you cannot afford $2.50 per month, I recommend scraping together the money. Don’t think of a website as an expense. Think of it as an investment. Having a website allows you to make money in multiple ways and can pay for itself in a few months,
Here are a few ways you can make money with your website:
Any combination will generate enough revenue to pay for itself.
Here are some ways to get enough money to invest in a website:
- Freelance work
- Part-time job
- Couch cushions
- Sell unused stuff on eBay
- Borrow $50 from friends and family
- Sell blood/ plasma
To conclude, yes, you can do affiliate marketing without a website, but it will make your road to success much more difficult. You will have to climb on the content hamster wheel to start making money.
Also, some social media sites will suppress your content because you are attempting to make money without giving them a piece of the pie. Facebook is the worst when it comes to content suppression with external links.
In Addition, some social media sites HATE affiliate links. The best way to send your content to the abyss is to add an affiliate link to your content.
It is possible to use free sites, but these sites create additional problems. The only real business is to have your own assets. One of your best assets is your own website.